Preparing for Your Health Care Experience

Last updated: July 23, 2015

Provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. Gives information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. (National Library of Medicine)


Consumers Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning

A guide for making advance directives for health care, such as living wills or durable power of attorney, and communicating your wishes to those likely to be involved in end-of-life decisions. (American Bar Association)


Guide to Diagnostic Tests

Describes common diagnostic tests that you may experience and explains how to prepare for each test, what happens when the test is performed, what risks are associated, and what you should do after the test is completed. (Harvard Medical School/Harvard Health Publications)


How to Discuss the Cost of Health Care with Your Provider

Offers tips and advice on how to discuss the cost of care with your providers, including radiology/imaging services, lab and diagnostic testing, and prescriptions. Lists sources for medication or co-pay assistance (Patient Advocate Foundation)


Hospital Hints


Hints for seniors who plan to enter the hospital. (National Institute for Aging)


How and When Do I Talk about Prescriptions?

Checklists of questions to ask when given a new prescription. (National Council on Patient Information and Education)


Is it an Emergency? What to Expect in the Emergency Department

Tips for understanding your emergency department experience. (American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation)


Medicare Interactive

Source of information about health care rights, options, and benefits. (Medicare Rights Center)


My Personal Health Record

Bilingual resource with information on compiling a personal health record, illustrating the life-saving value of medical information. (American Health Information Management Association)


The Patient Care Partnership: Understanding Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities

Replacing the AHA’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, this brochure helps you understand what you should expect during your hospital stay with regard to your rights and responsibilities. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. (American Hospital Association)


Preparing for Your Operation and Recovery

Identifies issues that you should address when considering surgery. (American College of Surgeons)


Preventing Infections in the Hospital

Fact sheet on how you can help prevent infections during your hospital stay. (National Patient Safety Foundation)


Should I Enter a Clinical Trial?

Identifies the issues that consumers must consider when thinking about entering a clinical trial. (ECRI Institute)


Speak Up: Know Your Rights


This brochure has questions and answers to help you find out about your rights and role as a patient. Also available in Spanish. (The Joint Commission)


Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital

A guide that helps you track all the things you need to know or do as prepare to leave the hospital. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)


Talking with Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People

Offers guidance for older people on how to communicate effectively with their physicians. Also available in Spanish. (National Institute on Aging)



Universal Patient Compact

A statement defining patient and family centered care and listing the principles of a partnership between the provider and the patient and his or her family. (National Patient Safety Foundation)


What You Can Do to Make Your Healthcare Safer

Becoming better informed, keeping track of your medical history, working with your health care team, involving a family member or friend in your care, and following the treatment plan agreed upon are steps for safer care. (National Patient Safety Foundation)


When Getting Medical Tests

Information to help you when making decisions about medical tests. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)


When Getting a Prescription

Guidelines for understanding the importance your medication plays in your treatment. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)


When Planning for Surgery

Things to consider and questions to ask before you have a surgical procedure. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)


When Talking with Your Doctor

Tips to help you and your doctor become partners in improving your health care. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)


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